OCR Issues New Guidance on Sexual Harassment

By: Adria Lynn Silva on July 24, 2021

 

Title IX’s implementing regulations were revised nearly a year ago on August 14, 2020. The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR)- the agency responsible for interpreting and enforcing Title IX- issued Questions and Answers on the Title IX Regulations on Sexual Harassment (July 20, 2021).

The new guidance interprets the 2020 regulations. The Appendix is particularly instructive regarding various scenarios which may arise in Title IX sexual harassment cases, especially internally, at the educational institution. However, the guidance as a whole is not as instructive as the former OCR guidance which was in place for over 19 years. Although the former guidance was rescinded, it may still be a useful historical tool to analyze sexual harassment cases in addition to the new publication.